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Thread: My life as a jerk

  1. #1
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    My life as a jerk

    This recent film by Dave Markey is fantastic.
    It is a documentary on the CIRCLE JERKS, a seminal hardcore L.A. punk band.
    It's all here, and the extras on this DVD are even better than the film itself!

    Dave is a Facebook friend, and I've told him personally what I think of the movie- he asked me if I've ever made a film (I said no, I have no stories to tell) and he welcomed me to post whenever I want on his page- he recently posted a blast from Raymond Pettibon, Greg Ginn's brother, who claims that Dave sucks Greg's dick. (If you're in the loop, you know that is total B.S.)
    But onto the Circle Jerks- I'll post more later on this film, as I want to get it right.
    It is a historical document, with all the major players on camera (except Chuck Biscuits- and I'm pretty sure I know why).
    Henry Rollins speaks of the "cultural importance" of the band, and of how "Group Sex" is a masterpiece of an album.

    It is worth checking out, even owning. Throw an indie filmmaker a bone and buy that DVD!!!!
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #2
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    Well the title is MY CAREER AS A JERK. Threre's no IMDb release info and I wonder if this was straight-to-DVD, but there is an interview related to it in ROLLING STONE. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/vi...-jerk-20120926

    You could write a user's comment review of it on its IMDb page. There is nothing about it there.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2461726/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_1

  3. #3
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    I just might do that.
    Yes, I got the title wrong. I think it should be called "My Life as a Jerk" simply because the Circle Jerks didn't exactly have a "Career". It was more of a lifestyle. Keith Morris says in the extras that they broke up because they "couldn't get their shit together".
    I love this film, and yes- I don't think it ever played theatrically. Dave made it himself, did everything- editing, sound, camera, etc.

    I'll do up a nice review tomorrow. I'm gonna scrutinize it tonite in my Batcave. :)
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #4
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    But the title "My Life As a Jerk" would sound like he just WAS an actual jerk,while "career" suggests a job rather than his whole nature. Plus since they say they all had day jobs most of the time "life" might also be wrong for that reason, because it was part, not all, of their lives. Oh, who knows? anyway I prefer "Career" and can see why they used that rather than "life."

  5. #5
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    Punks might jump all over me for it. I mean no harm.
    They actually do have a career- their records still sell well, they are Icons.
    Elton John gave them huge props and one night Chuck Berry himself asked to join them up onstage once.

    The Circle Jerks are a band you have to learn about, Mang.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  6. #6
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    Okay Mang, I dig.

  7. #7
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    "People want to live on the edge. Dancing on the razor's edge. That's what the music embodied"- Keith "Lucky" Lehrer




    This documentary shows us the complete story of the Circle Jerks, a Legendary hardcore punk band from Hermosa Beach.
    The original lineup was Keith Morris on vocals, Greg Hetson on Guitar (Gibson SG guitar, like Robby Krieger!), Lucky on drums and Roger "Rogerson" Dowding on bass.
    They were Incredible, and the archive footage will prove it. David Markey probably shot most if not all of those shows, which show how powerful and wild those times and music were. There are also clips from Penelope Spheeris' Decline of Western Civilization doc.

    Keith Morris had just quit Black Flag, and Greg Hetson had just quit Red Cross, another legendary punk band. Ron Reyes, singer for Red Cross, then became the singer for Black Flag- a singer swap. They formed a band with Lucky and the last member to join was Roger.
    The shows were wild, with manic energy and ferocity. The people weren't ready for something so weird, so strange, so aggro.
    Keith Morris says it's because people were into the Top 40 bands and had no clue what the Circle Jerks and Black Flag were doing, Flag wanting to blow things up, and the Jerks wanting to party and rip it up.
    Soon lots of "skate kids" and "surfer kids" from all over L.A. would show up to the gigs, which were often shut down by the police, VIOLENTLY.
    The cops cracked skulls.
    They blamed the kids, and Greg Hetson tells us that (at the time) L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates didn't take too kindly to this punk rock thing.
    In the air there was a lot of fear of anything new.
    Keith Morris: "It was just wild, crazy, but very exciting times. Everybody had to stay on their toes. Even when they were fucked up out of their minds".

    The band were originally going to be called the Bedwetters, and then the Plastic Hippies.
    They found their name ultimately by looking through an American slang dictionary from the late 60's at Ray Pettibon's house.
    Roger refused to tell his parents the name of the band. He was seriously embarrassed.
    Greg says as to the scene, nobody knew what they were doing back then."We were just making it up as we go along"
    Keith: "It was the blind leading the blind"
    Last edited by Johann; 02-20-2014 at 05:06 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  8. #8
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    Greg mentions what interested him in punk rock in the first place: the fact that there was no division between the crowd and the artist.
    Keith Morris says that the band was about having a good time: "Our day jobs suck! Life blows! Let's make some Noise! Have Fun!

    Henry Rollins: All of a sudden, you are hearing a punk-rock album (GROUP SEX) with a rhythm section that is not only tight, but they've got CHOPS. There's Articulation. They're Swinging. It's like, Syncopated. We were used to bands that could kind of thrash and smash along, and even the Bad Brains, who were so tight and so great, were not clear. The Circle Jerks- you could hear every note. Ian MacKaye was fascinated with how the Circle Jerks "Locked up". There's so much power in that almost metric, building riff....

    That first album was recorded on already used tape. They didn't have money to buy new tape to record on.
    The deal was done with a bag of marijuana. The producer was never there. "The Invisible Man" as Keith calls him..
    They inspired D.C. punks to wear boots and chains, just like the Jerks' fans were doing.
    The Circle Jerks eventually played with Minor Threat in D.C. and played on the same bill as such bands as The Cramps, Flipper, Dead Kennedys, D.O.A., Bad Brains, Minutemen, Black Flag, the Descendents, the Alley Cats, playing for Cheetah Chrome, the Misfits, Saccharine Trust, Bad Religion (which Greg was also in- Bo Knows!), etc etc etc.


    The Jerks had several line-up changes over the years, just like Black Flag, and my favorite lineup was with Earl Liberty (Mark Vidal) on bass and Chuck Biscuits on drums. The footage with those 4 guys is Awesome. Especially the Rock Palace '84 footage where Keith is wearing the Michael Jackson glitter glove and Captain Crunch uniform.
    Sadly there are no recordings (LP's or tape) of this line-up. Keith tells us the only recording there is of this line-up is insanely ironic: they all lip-sych and play accoustic guitars to "When The Shit Hits The Fan" on the Repo Man soundtrack.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-20-2014 at 05:07 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  9. #9
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    The Circle Jerks were accused of stealing songs from both Black Flag and Red Cross, but Keith points out that as the lyric writer of the songs, he was entitled to half credit. Greg Hetson says Red Cross refused to use the riffs he had come up with so he took them back.
    Lucky was in Law school, and he couldn't go on tour to England, so they had to replace him. John Ingram joined them, and Keith says they replaced a really amazing drummer with a guy who could just "play the drums".
    Fans would shout at shows: "WHERE"S LUCKY?!?"
    Soon Chuck Biscuits would quit Black Flag, and they couldn't pass up the opportunity to play with one of the most hardcore drummers to ever sit behind a kit. Chuck was a Beast, and the stories relayed about him here are cool- even Greg kicking him in the balls. I wish Chuck would've been able to speak of his time with them on camera. But there is bad blood there. I get it.

    Roger eventually came to see (in the early 90's) that the Circle Jerks were in their prime, long after he had left the group, and Nirvana showed them that they had a shot. Nirvana had wiped Metal off the face of the Earth. 1991 was the Year that Punk Broke. The Circle Jerks were signed to Mercury records (a disastrous situation, according to Keith Morris), as it was a feeding frenzy for punk groups. Green Day also made record labels smell the money.
    The day the original lineup was to reunite and rehearse, Roger OD'd on a mixture of drugs and died.
    Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers also played bass for the Circle Jerks in 1985- Greg says he was amazed that he could do the "Downstroke Derby" with his fingers, without a pick!
    Zander Schloss ("Kevin the Nerd" in Repo Man) was their final bassist, and I have no feelings for Zander either way.
    The Soft Boys cover of "I WANNA DESTROY YOU" is the only recording with Zander on it I listen to.
    But I do like his quote: "Legends are based on their Absence".

    The footage of the Jerks covering The Who on the extras is worth it's weight in Gold. The echoes on Keiths' voice from those Marshall amps...Holy Frickin' Dogshit.

    Keith Morris is the only member still active in music these days. He's in FLAG, on vocals of course, a band I saw rip the roof off the joint in Toronto last year. His new band is Off!, and he took it all back to that Baptist Church. Buy his records. He's a Legend. And so are the Circle Jerks. They ain't no footnote in Rock and Roll history.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-20-2014 at 12:59 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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